Traffic Shaping at the University of Saskatchewan
The University of Saskatchewan utilizes several Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain connectivity to the Internet. Each ISP provides a fixed amount of bandwidth specified by the university. In order to provide reasonable service to all university students, faculty, and staff, traffic to and from our ISPs must be managed to give a reasonable level of service to users of the university network. To achieve this level of service, the university has employed "traffic shaping" devices to prioritize network traffic of different types in an effort to make network access fair, and yet provide acceptable performance for a variety network applications with different requirements.
What is traffic shaping?
Traffic shaping is a process of controlling network traffic between the Internet and the university's network. This control takes place when the available bandwidth becomes depleted, thus causing congestion. Traffic shaping inhibits some network-intensive applications, while providing priority for applications that are sensitive to congestion.
Does traffic shaping affect on-campus traffic?
Traffic shaping is applied at a point where traffic traverses between our network and the internet. On-campus traffic is not affected by this.
What are the criteria for traffic shaping?
ICT, in conjunction with our user population, has drafted guidelines for traffic shaping. These guidelines factor in the limits of available Internet bandwidth, business needs (for student, faculty, and staff activities), and network application requirements. With these factors in mind, the following guidelines have been developed:
1. P2P (peer to peer) file sharing will be limited to a fraction of the available bandwidth, and will be further limited during times of congestion if required.
2. Applications that are sensitive to network congestion due to speed, timing, and delay-such as voice and video-- are given the highest priority.
3. All other traffic will be granted fair access to the remainder of available bandwidth.